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DWitt
06-26-2014, 11:07 AM
I'm not a beginner, but my son is! At age 4 1/2, he seems to be left-handed. Should I teach him to play lefty? Left-handers: do you strum with your left or right hand?

(Also welcome: recommendations on books, websites, methods, etc. for young kids.)

janeray1940
06-26-2014, 11:22 AM
My uke instructor is a lefty, but he plays righty, and his recommendation to lefty adults is always to try playing righty because it will make life easier down the road (since most materials are written from a right handed point of view, and most instruments are built that way as well). At that young age, I would encourage your son to play righty if possible.

tbeltrans
06-26-2014, 12:01 PM
Though I am left handed, I learned to play guitar right handed because I taught myself by watching other people and never even knew there left hand guitars until after I had been playing many years. So now I am teaching myself to play ukulele right handed too.

I honestly don't know what other people should do in terms of handedness because I believe it is different for everybody. Janeray seems to have good advice from her teacher.

Tony

Bob-in-Alberta
06-27-2014, 03:58 AM
I'm left handed and took guitar lessons many years ago. My teacher taught me right handed with the belief that you need to be adept with both hands to play. We lefties have to adapt to this right hand dominant world in many other things as well so it is just one more thing to do.

gouacats
06-27-2014, 04:09 AM
My daughter is a lefty and she learned to play guitar and uke right handed. I even offered to buy her a lefty guitar when she showed interest, but she said that it felt weird. Anyhow, if he's comfortable playing a righty, stick with that.

alanjang
06-27-2014, 04:27 AM
Another lefty that plays righty here. Truthfully, it wasn't a conscious decision, I just did what felt comfortable.

billten
06-27-2014, 04:52 AM
Lefty who plays lefty here, tried to play right and found it very uncomfortable. How about give him a uke and see which way he feels works. It is pretty natural to play one side or the other to be honest, some can and some can't switch.

iamesperambient
06-27-2014, 05:17 AM
I'm not a beginner, but my son is! At age 4 1/2, he seems to be left-handed. Should I teach him to play lefty? Left-handers: do you strum with your left or right hand?

(Also welcome: recommendations on books, websites, methods, etc. for young kids.)

im a lefty. I learned guitar righty, i had the chance to learn 'lefty' and it made no friggin sense to me.
I think your chording hand should be your strong hand its hard to learn to press down strings, and to hold
your hand in awkward new positions i certantly wouldn't have been able to do hand gymnastics with my right hand.

Never understood the lefty instruments thing, in fact i almost feel like lefty instruments would suit a right hander better.

Stagehand
06-28-2014, 09:58 AM
Another lefty that plays righty. As it has been said above...chording takes more dexterity than strumming in the beginning and your son won't have to "mirror" any diagrams.

iamesperambient
06-28-2014, 12:40 PM
Another lefty that plays righty. As it has been said above...chording takes more dexterity than strumming in the beginning and your son won't have to "mirror" any diagrams.

i think a lot of us who write lefty playing guitar/uke other instruments righty
personally to me as someone who writes lefty handed playing guitar/uke 'lefty'
doesn't feel comfortable or natural to me.

WKerrigan
06-28-2014, 01:57 PM
I'm a lefty beginner, having played for about 7 months. I think a novice lefty actually has an advantage playing righty, because moving smoothly from chord to chord is the first challenge for a beginner, and they are mastering that trick with their dominant hand. Maybe when you get to finger picking and such the advantage evens out, but I'd teach your lefty kid to play righty. It will also be way easier for him to read chord diagrams, etc. but when it comes time to teach him golf, get him a set of lefty clubs. My Dad insisted I try to learn golf right handed, because Ben Hogan was a lefty who golfed righty, and allegedly had an advantage because his dominant hand was his power hand. For this uncoordinated little kid having to learn swing and technique was just too high a hill to climb, so I dropped golf early. But your lefty should thrive with a righty uke!

iamesperambient
06-28-2014, 03:11 PM
I'm a lefty beginner, having played for about 7 months. I think a novice lefty actually has an advantage playing righty, because moving smoothly from chord to chord is the first challenge for a beginner, and they are mastering that trick with their dominant hand. Maybe when you get to finger picking and such the advantage evens out, but I'd teach your lefty kid to play righty. It will also be way easier for him to read chord diagrams, etc. but when it comes time to teach him golf, get him a set of lefty clubs. My Dad insisted I try to learn golf right handed, because Ben Hogan was a lefty who golfed righty, and allegedly had an advantage because his dominant hand was his power hand. For this uncoordinated little kid having to learn swing and technique was just too high a hill to climb, so I dropped golf early. But your lefty should thrive with a righty uke!


I tried lefty when I was first starting
out and as a lefty "righty" felt more natural
but that's just me.

wldpilot
07-09-2014, 04:59 AM
Generally speaking, people have a natural tendency. I'm left handed playing left handed. Have been since I started air-guitaring as a toddler. Couldn't play right handed to save my life. It does present a problem as far as availability/setup, reading chord charts, etc. But it is not that big a deal. I play a lefty guitar. When I went uke, I made a conscious decision to play a righty upside down. Not that it was necessarily a good decision, and I'm not recommending it. It's just the only way for me to be at a friends house, or half way round the world, and still pick up any uke and be able to play it. Works for me. Everyone is different and it will become apparent.

aquadan
07-09-2014, 05:24 AM
I'm a pretty dominant left hander. I uses scissors righty as it's just easier to pick up any pair, and play uke righty because it feels more natural to me. Everything else I do is lefty.

I really hated those right handed desks in school, and that stupid fancy bent butter knife that I use upside down out of spite.

glass
07-09-2014, 05:32 AM
I am lefty. I play uke righty. I do almost everything righty. I surf, skate, play ball, basketball, play ukulele righty and I am sure more stuff. I find I mostly eat and write lefty, I guess thats what happens when you are in a family of rightys. My mom told me once when I was in elementary school the teacher was forcing me to use my right hand she said it was unnatural to use your left hand...it was weird I guess back then.

Oct-King
07-09-2014, 06:17 AM
My uke instructor is a lefty, but he plays righty, and his recommendation to lefty adults is always to try playing righty because it will make life easier down the road (since most materials are written from a right handed point of view, and most instruments are built that way as well). At that young age, I would encourage your son to play righty if possible.

I'm soon to be a beginning ukulele player, but have been playing the banjo and guitar for a while now. I'm a left handed player and I play left handed. As far as material goes, I have no problem reading material for right handed players and applying it. I actually find left handed material confusing. Just know this, there are different degree's of left handed right handed, don't try and force a square peg into a round hole.

janeray1940
07-09-2014, 06:32 AM
Just know this, there are different degree's of left handed right handed, don't try and force a square peg into a round hole.

Very true - note that my words were "his recommendation to lefty adults is always to try playing righty." Doesn't mean force them to - just to try it, and to see how it works out. At age 4, the kid in question may not even really have a strong preference.

I'm actually a "corrected" lefty like glass (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?98061-Left-handers&p=1549760#post1549760), above. When I first started to write and draw, I had no real preference - so I guess technically I was ambi (as was my dad). But I still remember my mom grabbing the pencil out of my left hand and forcing it into my right! And I do everything right-handed now except for holding a drinking glass, and throwing a ball. Guess my mom must have missed those things :)

post4rational
07-10-2014, 02:51 PM
I'm just another lefty writer who plays ukulele and guitar righty.

Pueo
07-10-2014, 03:56 PM
When I was learning to play guitar as a kid, I often thought that it made more sense to chord with the right hand. I tried it though (I am right-handed) and it was a disaster. I think that the dominant hand doing rhythm is probably why you play that way - think about which hand you use unconsciously to beat out a rhythm on your desk or lap - that is the hand you will strum with!

mrosenlof
09-05-2014, 05:09 PM
rank beginner here, I play right-handed. Ukulele and most other instruments require the player to do things with both hands. I'm not convinced (yet!) that one hand has a harder job.

UkePyrate
09-12-2014, 06:18 AM
Hello.

I myself being strongly biased lefty, have never learned instrument before the age fo 25 or so.
I put many googling into the issue before buying my first instrument (was guitar actually, not uke).
To sum up in advance, my advice would be - go LEFTY.

please do not take what i write for granted, this is just how i feel about the "problem" :)

There are several important things to consider up-front when using the argument, that many lefties learned to play right way, and they are fine:

- in the past, at least in the country i come from, it was considered normal (well, at least 25 years ago when i started elementary school) to "try" teach even lefty children to write right handed etc., righty being "normal", lefty being weird/different...
- i believe same fact applied to the music teachers in general - one could dream about special left-handed version instruments, as lefties were, and still are, a lot smaller market, + it takes few extra thoughts compared to righty way - before teaching/explaining/even learning myself some things...


Most important argument from my point of view is - depends on how much biased your child is. If he's "really lefty", go LEFT, if he's "sort-of lefty / ambidextrous", go RIGHTY.

One friend of mine used a great sentence IMO (he's righty): "You should strum with your heart, and fret with your brains"

Primary side (left in my case) guides a rhythm, your swing, your volume, etc, and should be the strumming one.

Fretting hand might get some advantage in the beginning if lefty goes righty, but, pressing the fretboard is usually the "smaller problem" compared to timing, accents, fingerpicking, etc. of strumming hand

Pros of going lefty:
- sure, he can learn play pretty well even with the flipped hands, but i'd bet my uke he will get a lot farther (or quicker) with the same effort using his primary hand for fretting.
- you add extra visual feature when playing with someone, covering each other backs with instruments to other sides :)
- you dont have to use mirror (flip the instructions in yuor head) when watching someone showing you chords/frets to hold etc.

Con of going lefty:
- majority of instruments is right-handed, so if i want to borrow instrument from a friend at the camp-site/park and play, i'll probably wont be able to do so...
HOWEVER, regarding my own instruments:
most of the ukuleles are symmetrical (excluding cut-aways etc.) - and you can easily retune/switch strings for lefty (or even go jimmy hendrix style :-) ) - so this is not an issue unless i want some "special" model.

- there is NO need IMO to do anything about sheet music, chord charts for lefties, etc. - you just learn to read in a proper way for YOU (normally, being righty, flipping it in your mind if you go lefty) - pictures of chords might be important in the first week when you learn specific chord, but once you do, you dont have to see pictures all the time right?

Some of my arguments may turn around or be invalid however for a child or younger age, i got my opinion being self-learner around my age of +- 30's :)